McCain-Ravenel Center

McCain-Ravenel Center

Established in 2018, the McCain-Ravenel Center for Intellectual and Moral Courage coordinates and supports signature initiatives at Episcopal, including the Washington Program, Global Programs, Leadership and Ethics, Outdoor Leadership, and Service and Civic Engagement. The center staff also help faculty and staff connect students with the resources of Washington and design programs that advance the mission of the School: to prepare young adults with intellectual and moral courage.

The center’s goal is to prepare students for life outside Episcopal and to help them embody the Portrait of a Graduate, much like Ravenel did for McCain. The senator once said: “Mr. Ravenel changed my life. He gave me some moorings and a compass. He used his classroom as not only a way to teach English but also to teach values and standards and morals.

The speakers and opportunities set up by the center take students outside of Episcopal to further their education and provide them real-world experience made possible by the School’s proximity to Washington, D.C. Goldstein adds: "Part of the vision of the McCain-Ravenel Center at EHS is to be the nexus of high-level partnerships for our community while connecting with unique teaching and learning moments in the national capital region and beyond."

The center's mission revolves around:

List of 5 items.

  • Programming focused on critical issues facing society today,

    such as the effects of Covid-19 on society; civil discourse and the 2020 election; and social justice and antiracism. The fall schedule sets aside one day each month for schoolwide McCain-Ravenel events that tap the resources of metro Washington, D.C.
  • Creative use of technology and the campus.

    Among the ideas faculty are considering if health concerns limit off-campus programming: explorations of Washington, D.C., using GoPro; all-school virtual community service events like the Just Tryan It triathlon; and campus campouts and hikes to local nature spots.
  • Deepening connections with the real world of work.

    Last spring, though the pandemic created chaos in the economy and the business world, the center helped 90 percent of EHS seniors secure May externships in their career field of interest. That experience will benefit the School as we head into our third year of placing select juniors in externship positions.
  • Inspiring conversations

    Among the guests at schoolwide events during distance learning last spring were former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and world-champion Paralympian Melissa Stockwell. Our Webex video-conferencing technology makes it possible to introduce students to scientists, authors, and other experts who might never have been able to come to campus to visit. Read about such experiences from last spring.
  • Interaction with alumni

    All the EHS signature programs tap Episcopal’s network of more than 5,000 alumni to talk about leadership, career fields, and ethics. Among last year’s guests: political, business, and digital strategist Tyler Brown '99, former CIA officer Kristen Edwards Marquardt ’97, and renowned oncologist Dr. John Marshall ’79.
“Were William B. Ravenel the only person I remembered from high school, I would credit those days as among the best of my life.” -Sen. John McCain ’54
    • Sen. John McCain '54 speaks at a town hall at EHS in 2007

    • Sen. John McCain '54 greets students in Laird Dining Hall after giving a town hall at EHS in 2007.